Digital Catapult Tests Blockchain ‘Smart Contract’

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Blockchain could be used to encourage creative working patterns where companies law is too restrictive

Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund said on Wednesday they are trialling a “smart contract” that uses blockchain technology to encourage more flexible working patterns for teams involved in early-stage games development.

The contract uses Ethereum, a blockchain-based distributed computing platform that executes peer-to-peer contracts using a digital currency called Ether.

Creative teams

Ed Vaizey Digital Catapult CentreDigital Catapult said the smart contract enabled projects to keep track of individual contributions in an early-stage environment where people might come on-board or leave at different stages or make very different contributions.

The technology provides simple-to-use between those individuals’ smart contracts and real currency, keeping contributions and financial results in correlation, the group said.

The UK Games Fund is testing the prototype contracts with a group of 20 creative teams that are part of its graduate ‘Tranzfuser’ funding programme.

It plans to use feedback from those games to continue development and identify areas in other sectors where such contracts could be used, such as digital and creative industries.


Existing company law and practice is sometimes overly constricting for creative teams,
Digital Catapult said.

“Our work with the UK Games Fund is focused on discovering better ways to serve those in creative teams, providing them with the freedom and tools to develop the games of the future,” said Digital Catapult chief executive Jeremy Silver in a statement. “Our smart contracts demonstrate the practical potential of blockchain.”

Blockchain is currently being trialled by organisations including Microsoft, IBM and the Bank of England, with initial applications ” mainly seen in the financial sector.

Digital Catapult, based in Kings Cross, is one of the part-publicly funded groups set up by government-backed Innovate UK to stimulate the adoption of new working practices and technologies.

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